Partnerize Chief Marketing Officer Jim Nichols has published a byline in Forbes outlining some great tactics for brands to ensure they get the most out of their sponsorship dollars. With global sponsorship investment nearly $66 billion worldwide in 2018, brands should be open to ideas like partnership, better measurement and tracking, etc. Here is an excerpt from Jim’s article:
Sponsorship investment among brands represents a massive annual expenditure — nearly $66 billion worldwide in 2018, with $24 billion spent in North America alone. This form of marketing represents a broad-based category encompassing sports, entertainment, arts, festivals, causes and more.
As with every category of brand spend, sponsorships are expected to deliver positive business benefits. Industry research by IEG shows that executives most often look to their sponsorships to boost brand awareness and reinforce a positive brand image. In addition, sponsorships are often expected to directly contribute to increases in sales and brand loyalty.
Despite heavy expenditures and lofty goals, I find that the actual business impact of the sponsorships channel is usually poorly measured — if at all. And in this digital age, where most other marketing tactics are held to strict return on investment standards, murkiness around sponsorship impact is becoming increasingly unacceptable. As brands look to bring greater accountability to this massive channel, here are five ideas that can help.
1. Annually assess the relevance of all your sponsorships.
Many brands participate in a variety of sponsorships every year. These are often negotiated by different teams, including marketing, sales, public relations, social and sponsorship-focused teams. Despite varying program ownership, it’s important for there to be organization-wide visibility into these efforts.
Every year, teams need to come together to perform a strategic assessment of every sponsorship expenditure to ensure they’re all being held to the same standards. Here are some of the questions that need to be evaluated for each and every sponsorship:
• What is the sponsorship supposed to do?
• How much are we spending? Does that expenditure commensurate with the importance of the goal?
• Who is the target?
• How does the structure of the sponsorship ensure we deliver on objectives?
• Do we know it is working? How?
2. Collaborate with partners to unlock more measurable sales opportunities.
Sponsorships are partnerships, and every good partnership should be a collaborative process. Sponsorship partners understand the need for greater impact and accountability, and brands shouldn’t hesitate to tap into them for ideas and experience. Even if a company has been engaged in the same sponsorship for years, it’s important to ask new, and sometimes difficult questions. A good partner will not only answer those questions but also act to ensure the right changes are made to accommodate a brand’s evolving goals and requirements.
It all starts with open lines of communication. Brands need to discuss their business objectives with their partners and collaborate to add or refine program elements to better connect sponsorship to incremental revenue. In doing so, it helps to find out which tactics are working for other sponsors.
Read the rest of the article in Forbes.